Bye to Little Corn
Our last days on Little Corn Island were both relaxing and at times, busy. Dave had gone to Managua to work on his Nicaraguan residency application and he asked us to keep an eye on his place and to water the veggies.
We were also looking into our options for accommodation if we ever returned to the island with our family. In the end there were a few choices that might work but we’d have to do a lot more planning involving the family. Having spent a lot of time on the east side of the island, that would be our first choice so now at least we have the info. Prices for a complete house that would accommodate up to 7 people range from $145 to $335 per day. Hmmm…
And the relaxing part? We got pretty good at that.
So, the day came to leave… A somewhat familiar feeling after nearly 3 1/2 months of travel in Nicaragua. Bodi helped us get our backpacks to the panga side of the island – we thanked him for a great stay. (“Troy’s Place” is really a great place to stay if you’re into cooking, hot showers and a quiet, private refuge).
Getting ready for the panga:
At the panga, we were early birds so we had a bench seat watching the crew and passengers slowly gather. We met some nice people from England who asked us about our stay and they were really interested in our little island stories. We were really happy to share them.
The panga ride shall go down in the annals as the SMOOTHEST ride we could have hoped for. However, due to the fact that the folks on the port side had consumed too many Tonas and hamburgers at the Lighthouse, the panga listed that way. Good thing it wasn’t rough! And, yes, we felt a tinge of sadness as we pulled away from the dock. Lots of memories, lots of good times…
Return to Villy’s
And now, our time on Big Corn Island is almost up. We’ve really chilled at our little haven – Villy’s Cottages. It is ultra quiet here, a pristine white sand beach is 2 minutes walk away, the cottage has a really cool little kitchen (that we used a lot!), beds are comfy, the place is spotlessly clean and… The wifi is fast and always on.
We highly recommend the place. Vilma and her husband Errol are consummate hosts. One evening, Vilma just showed up with a delicious plate of home made goodies. Wow!
The other thing they offer isn’t necessarily advertised or recognized. By staying here they are welcoming you to their family’s property and to a very ‘together’ community of “Islanders”. Priceless.
Freddy the Barber
We have been walking on the road and grassy pathways to the next neighbourhood – Sally Peachy. That’s where Freddy the Barber is located, just across the road from the Sally Peachy store. Which, by the way is definitely worth a visit. The owner Marlon has a unique stock of frozen meats that you won’t find anywhere else. And, on Sunday’s he sells his freshly smoked chicken. Whoa!
So back to Freddy.
Lovely guy and like most barbers, he liked to chat. He asked about our journey and quickly conceded how embarking on such a journey is impossible for most Nicaraguans. He appreciated how wonderful the trip must have been and admitted he’d love to do it but, “It would never happen”. And… Freddy is entrepreneurial. Besides his barber shop he and his family run a small ‘pulperia’ or store on the same property. And those are just the things we saw. Yes, tenemos suerte – we are lucky.
More pics on the way to Sally Peachy:
Reflections on the Islands
This feeds into some final thoughts about change on the Corn Islands. Development can be seen here, particularly on the little island. There, the local authorities are starting to control how much expansion takes place but in many respects, the damage is done.
Over the last decade, many properties have been sold to expats and developers. Houses have been built and the speculation treadmill increased in speed. The end result has been exactly why I didn’t feel comfortable 12 years ago when given the opportunity to buy property. I saw it as land that belonged to the islanders -not people from other countries wishing to make a profit over time or to settle on, potentially expropriating future generations of local islanders.
The Long Ride Home
This afternoon we’ll be flying to Managua – the first of a multi-day trip to get back to Central British Columbia. We love to travel and now, we just have to go with the flow with three more flights to get home from Managua. We ARE really looking forward to being home. This will probably be the final installment of our Nica Adventure blog.
It’s been an incredible tour
This trip has been a unique experience for us. For the last 12 years, our travel has typically revolved around our bicycles.
After last year’s cycle crossing of North America, we made a decision to re-visit our Nicaraguan memories and to make new ones this winter. We’re VERY happy we did.
Nicaragua is a fascinating country with an equally intriguing history and some of the nicest people on the planet. With the incredible transit system in this country, our bikes would have just been excess baggage and at times, in the way.
We will be back riding when we get home and we’re already talking about a summer bike trip in BC. Can’t resist. After years of touring on a bike, BC is way up the list of ‘best places’. And, we’re seriously considering Cuba as a cycling destination next winter. Gotta keep going with those Spanish lessons!
Lastly, we’re thankful to you for following along… We’re also grateful for all the people who opened the doors to friendship during this journey. Looking back through the blog, we have made many, many friends and we have felt the love they gave so freely. Each stop along the way offered a new opportunity to bridge the gap between cultures and countries. I guess that’s one of the main reasons we travel. At home we are blessed with a huge circle of friends and when we travel, the circle just gets bigger!
We’ll leave you with a few more pics and a special song from a very special person – Alex Cuba. We listened to this song many times during the trip and it has become one of those tunes that will enhance the upcoming memories. It wasn’t until after our Spanish lessons we totally understood the title… ‘Contigo’. con = with and tigo = a version of ‘you’. ‘With you’. We know we couldn’t do this alone. Sharing the experiences with each other is key. These adventures are best… with you.